IndyCar fans hoping to play the first stand-alone dedicated IndyCar video game simulation in nearly two decades are going to have to wait a little while longer. Motorsport Games has announced that it is suspending development of the IndyCar title in the wake of a third-quarter earnings call in which the company announced the loss of millions of dollars.
On Nov. 7, the company announced, "the suspension of the development of our previously planned IndyCar game, to decrease operating expenses whilst also removing projects that are underperforming or are unlikely to generate revenue." It has also laid off the entire development team on the IndyCar game, stating it has made "Additional cost-saving measures [including] the recent closure of our Australian development studio, with corresponding global headcount reductions."
IndyCar and Motorsport Games had announced in 2021 that the two would work together to create the first licensed IndyCar game since Codemasters' IndyCar Series 2005 and that it would be released in 2023. In anticipation of the new IndyCar-only video game, IndyCar did not renew its licensing agreement with iRacing at the end of 2022, which forced the popular online racing simulation game to rebrand its IndyCar content and end the popular annual iRacing Indy 500. Earlier this year, IndyCar and Motorsport Games delayed the release of the game until 2024, due to the video game maker's financial difficulties.
"Significant work and collaboration has gone into the development of our title with Motorsport Games," Penske Entertainment, owners of the IndyCar Series, said in a statement. "We're disappointed they do not have the resources to continue development. We'll announce next steps in due course."
The most pressing concern for Penske Entertainment is getting its licensing rights back from Motorsport Games before it can hope to find another developer for a potential IndyCar game. "We're not at the place yet where we have chosen which path that will be, but it is a top-of-mind question that we're engaged in," Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles has said.
Sadly, Motorsport Games has signaled that it does not plan to give up the IndyCar license and will look to continue developing the game in the future.
Motorsport Games' suspension of the IndyCar game development comes after the company has seen the end of its relationships with two other racing series. NASCAR announced that it was leaving Motorsport Games for an exclusive iRacing deal. Earlier this week, TOCA announced that it was canceling its contract with Motorsport Games for the British Touring Car series.
So, with plenty of legal wrangling coming before the green flag falls on a new licensed IndyCar game, where can sim racers wanting to race an Indy car turn? There's still IndyCar content on iRacing, and there's a brilliant IndyCar mod with 2023 paint schemes for Automobilista 2, to name just a couple of options. While the Motorsport Games IndyCar title might be stalled in the pits, Indy fans still have a few options to start their engines and fulfill their IndyCar dreams.
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